a combat weight of 8,400 kg., the RG-31 MK3 4x4 Mine Protected
APC is built from an all-steel welded armor monocoque hull,
typical of South African mine protected vehicles, providing
excellent small-arms and mine blast protection as well as small
arms fire. The vehicle accommodates a crew of 10 including the
driver. Dismounting is provided via a large rear door and two
front doors. A different version, the RG-31M features a military
wiring harness, central tire inflation and several other new
characteristics. This Vehicle has a crew of 5.
By January 2007 U.S. forces have ordered or received 424 RG-31
vehicles, including 265 RG-31 Mk5s for the U.S. Army and SOCOM.
In June 2007 the US Army ordered 44
additional RG-31 Mk5s.
RG-31 is currently in service with US Army Task Force Pathfinder
attached to the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. It is also used
with Explosive Ordinance Disposal units of the US Marine Corps,
assisting location and neutralizing IED’s. Procurement
of 148 additional vehicles, under a $97 million contract was
announced in February 2005.
Photo: A US Marine Corps RG-31 Cougar rests on its front
axel after an improvised explosive device detonated under the
vehicle near Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, Jan. 6. The IED detonated
directly under the vehicle; however, the blast was pushed outward
instead of directly straight up due to the vehicle's “V”
–shaped undercarriage. Of the five service members in
the vehicle, two received concussions and two others received
minor burns. (Photo by: Courtesy photo by 8th Engineer Support
In November 2005 the Canadian government contracted
General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS-C) to supply 50 RG-31
Mine Protected Vehicles with an option for 25 additional vehicles
under a CAD $60.3 million (US $51.3 million) order (more info
Industry Daily). An option for the procurement of 25 additional
vehicles was exercised May 31st, 2006, at a cost of Follow on
order (CAD $31 million, US$ 28 million). The Canadian Armored
Patrol Vehicle (APV) also known as Nyala incorporates a Kongsberg
Protector M151 Remote Weapon Station, and is equipped with a
day and night sighting system, which allows the operator to
fire the weapon while remaining protected within the vehicle.
It also has an enhanced IED protection. The vehicles will be
manufactured by BAE Land Systems OMC of South Africa, while
GDLS-C will provide ongoing support. The vehicles were delivered
early 2006 replacing some of the lightly armored G-Wagons used
by the Canadian forces in Afghanistan in patrol duties. The
Canadian Army tested the RG-31s deploying three RG-31 vehicles,
as part of its contribution to the International Security Assistance
Force in Afghanistan. RG-31s have been extensively used with
NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia and by United Nations (UN)
forces in Lebanon, Georgia, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
Kosovo and by US forces in Iraq.
In October 2006
the US Army awarded US$27 million to Dynamics Land Systems-
Canada will produce 60 RG-31 Mk5 Mine Protected Vehicles, to
be manufactured in South Africa by BAE Land Systems OMC. The
vehicles will be delivered within 4 – 6 months. In November
2006 this order was increased to a total of 94 vehicles. In
GDLS Canada received an additional US Army order for 169 vehicles,
to be delivered over six months starting June 2007. The USD$76.5
million contract includes an option for additional nine additional
vehicles. On January 2007 BAE Systems and GDLS Canada received
orders for four test vehicles for evaluation for the Joint Army/Navy/Marines
Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program. In February
2007 the company received production orders worth $11 million
for 10 Category I and 10 Category II MRAP vehicles.
Vehicles operating in Iraq and Afghanistan will receive independent suspensions, improving their capability to operate in rough roads and off-road. In July 2009 BAE Systems will also upgrade about 300 RG-31s Category I MRAPs with independent suspensions. These vehicles are operated by the US Special Operations Command, under a $95 million program awarded later in July 2009.
At DSEi 2007 BAE Systems Land Systems OMC of South Africa displayed
the latest version of the RG31 Mk6. The vehicle respresents
BAE system's proposed platform for the MPPV program. Mk6 retains
the level of mine protection provided by its predecessors, while
adding additional protection against Improvised Explosive Devices
(IED). The internal volume and payload capacity were increased
by the use of a wider hull and an increase of gross vehicle
weight (GVW) to 17 tons.
7 killed as Canadian RG-31 Fail to Stop
an RSIED in Afghanistan
Six Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were killed
Wednesday as their RG-31 armored vehicle was hit by a RoadSide
Improvised Explosive device (RSIED) as they were returning
form a mission, about 20 km south west of Kandahar in Southern
Afghanistan. According to the Edmontonsun.com,
Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan have long regarded the four-wheeled
armored truck as the ultimate protection against such attacks.
Until the latest attack, troops riding in the vehicle had often
survived gunfire and roadside blasts with minor or no injuries.
However, experts are questioning its ability to withstand more
substantial threats. Until this fatal incident RG-31s demonstrated
a high level of survivability against typical threats encountered
in Iraq and Afghanistan. The vehicle is operated by US and Canadian
forces. Four Canadian soldiers credited the Nyala RG-31 with
saving their lives in a suicide attack in September 06. The
vehicle was damaged, but the soldiers inside it were unscathed.
However, a month later, the Canadians suffered the first fatality
when one of the vehicles was penetrated killing the gunner.